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GreenBoat 09-03-2006 11:21 PM

single Mom, single hander, single paycheck.
Okay. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My daughter is a senior in H.S. and my son just started. That means only 4 years left of having to live in the high-rent (good school) district. Which leads me to my next address: boat.

I have a good bit of sailing experience (though admittedly I am a bit rusty). I sailed before I walked, cruised New England each summer on my parents' boats (Allied Luders 33 sloop and Frank Kinney Pipe Dream 37 sloop) and did the whole dinghy racing curcuit thing on Blue Jays, Fire Balls, Lightnings, etc.

That was then This is now: I haven't sailed in the past ten or so years and never really had experience skippering or maintaining a larger boat. I am currently taking Power Squadron courses to get beck into the swing of things, brush up pn navigation and learn about boat systems and am researching which boats would make good coastal and possibly off-shore cruisers.

Here are some of my requirements:
-I have to be able to single hand it.
-I don't have a ton of money to spend.
-I want a good, solid boat that can see me through a storm.

Here are some boats I am considering:
Allied Luders 33
Niagara 35
Rival 34
Sabre 34
Wauquiez Pretorian 35
Dickerson 37

Any thoughts, tips, suggestions?


Pennysail 09-04-2006 02:16 AM

Way to go Susan .
I have no idea ,but will watch your progress with interest

MikeinLA 09-04-2006 02:22 AM

Curiously in keeping with this site's recent adoption of Good Old Boat articles, the last issue ( I think) had a great article about the Cheoy Lee 32 (beautiful boat) followed by an analysis of three other similar 32-34 foot boats. the article might be of interest to you. Good Luck. My son is off to college in 2 years and I'm seriously considering moving back aboard my Catalina 36. I'm part-timing it now.


PBzeer 09-04-2006 10:08 AM

After 3 years of looking at liveaboard, singlehanded boats, the Ontario 32 (which is what I bought), always came out on top. So far, I've been very pleased with my choice. I find it easy to singlehand, and plenty roomy inside, as well as having good storage and access to most things. With a 4 1/2 foot draft modified fin keel, it's shoal enough for most places and deep enough to track decently. Though I haven't been out in more than 20 knots of wind, it has felt very stable up to that point, even though I should have tucked a reef.

I had looked at a Niagara 35, and though I was tempted, it just felt a bit big to me. I do like the layout though of the earlier models.

Best of luck,

bkrosschell 09-04-2006 11:21 AM

Sounds like you have a great plan
Hi Susan,

You may want to consider a Pearson Vanguard. 32.5 feet long, very strong hull and sails well (full keel). I have been living on mine for 6 years. Not a lot of space but an affordable and beautiful boat with a great owners group. You can find one for 15-35K.

Check out:

good luck finding your dream boat,

cranki 09-05-2006 08:40 PM


I am in a similar boat (pun intended) My son is in 8th. grade and I am looking at a 5-year timeframe until I can devote much more time to sailing and cruising.

I was looking for "the boat" in the same range as you. (Well actually 35-40' range) I just recently bought an old Pearson 30. It's a bit smaller than I wanted... It's not exactly a blue water boat, but I could take it to Canada, the Bahamas and down into the Caribbean. I decided to spend less now on the boat, less on maintenance, on dockage and winter storage, etc.

I will sail it here in LIS. Daysails, weekends, 1-week cruises. I will teach my son how to sail and revisit all the local anchorages... Then in 5 years I may get a bigger boat or I may just go with what I've got.

Surfesq 09-05-2006 08:57 PM

You sound like a good candidate for the Sailnet Singles Scene...Pirate's Booty keeps bugging me to start one!

As for the boat, I would recommend you get the biggest boat you think you can comfortably sail. A 35 footer for example will give you significant advantages in space and sailability over a 30 footer for example. However, that being said, I really like the Island Packet 30 for a liveaboard. I believe you can find one in the 50-60K range. They are solid and well designed boats. Plus, they hold their value...

Jeff_H 09-05-2006 11:10 PM

I would suggest that you perhaps add the Bristol 34, the Tartan 30, and the Tartan 34. All of them sail very well and should be in a similar price range to the others on your list. If I had to pick just one boat on the list of choices presented so far, I would really lean towards the Wauquiez Pretorian 35. Great boats, well built. There were a couple different interior layouts, one of which was a bit weird but one that was about as nice a single-hander layout as you could find in a 35 footer.

All of these are pretty brawny boats to handle single-handed, depending as they do on very large genoas in moderate conditions and as older designs, were built with undersized winches by modern standards. No matter which you end up with, unless a prior owner has done so, you should be sure to budget for changes to the deck hardware to better accommodate single-handing.

Perhaps from a different angle, you might try to find a fractional rigged boat (perhaps something like a Dehler Optima 101 for example) rather than a masthead sloop. I do a lot of single-handing and I find that the smaller headsails and ease of shifting gears on a fractional rig makes them a lot more convenient short handed in changeable conditions.

Just a thought.
Good luck,


camaraderie 09-06-2006 03:21 PM

...and Jeff H. would be disappointed if I didn't chime in with:
Tayana 37, Pacific Seacraft 34, Cape Dory 36, Westsail32 and Hans Christian 33.
All will not get you there as fast...but will get you there in safety and comfort in any weather.
(P.S. this is not meant to start a fight club over this already beaten to death subject!)

Surfesq 09-06-2006 03:26 PM

Yeah, cut it out Camaderie. Actually, I like any of the boats you guys suggested. I always love the lines of the Cape Dory and the Bristols.

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